Creating a Rough Animation
The first step to complete a traditional paperless animation is the rough construction, which is the skeleton of your animation. You would usually start with the main action. For example, to animate a walk cycle, you will start with the torso motion and the legs. Head, arms and clothes will be added later during the secondary animation.
For a satisfactory animation, start by animating the main action with quick, rough sketches, then add the details when you're satisfied with the movement. If you start animating all the details right away, you will lose a lot of time if you have to make corrections, and your animation is likely to look rigid.
- Press Ctrl + U (Windows/Linux) or ⌘ + U (Mac OS X) to open the Preferences dialog box.
- Select the Exposure Sheet tab.
- Select the Use Current Frame as Drawing Name option. When this preference is enabled, drawings will be named like the frame they are created on (frame number).
- In the Tools toolbar, select the Brush tool or press Alt + B.
- In the Colour view, select a colour for the brush. It is a good idea to choose a light colour for your rough animation. This will make the clean up process easier as your clean dark lines will contrast with your light sketch lines.
- In the Timeline or Xsheet view, select the cell where you want your first drawing to appear.
- In the Camera or Drawing view, draw the first key drawing.
- With your first cell still selected, do one of the following to mark your drawing as a key drawing. This will help you stay organized.
- In the Mark Drawing toolbar, click the Mark Selected Drawings as Key button.
- In the Xsheet view, select Drawings > Mark Drawing As > Key Drawing.
- In the Timeline view, select Drawings > Mark Drawing As > Key Drawing.
- In the Timeline or Xsheet view, select the cell where your next key drawing will appear.
- In the Tools toolbar, click the Onion Skin button. This will display the previous and next drawings in a light colour in the Camera or Drawing view, behind your current drawing, so that you can use them as references to draw new drawings with accuracy. This can be useful to draw breakdown poses between two key poses, or to add an in-between drawing between two other drawings.
- Ensure the onion skin displays your first key drawing, so that you can base your second key drawing on it. To do this, do one of the following:
- In the Timeline view, drag the blue onion skin markers to extend the number of past and future drawings to display as onion skin, if needed.
- In the Camera View or Drawing View toolbar, use the Onion Skin Add One Previous Drawing , Onion Skin Reduce One Previous Drawing , Onion Skin Reduce One Next Drawing and Onion Skin Add One Next Drawing buttons to adjust the span of the onion skin frame by frame.NOTE: When in the Drawing view, you can use the Onion Skin toolbar to make onion skin display only specific types of drawings, such as key drawings or breakdowns. Keep in mind that this does not work in the Camera view.
- In the Camera or Drawing view, draw your second key drawing.
- In the Xsheet or Timeline view, identify the drawing as a key drawing.
- In the Timeline or Xsheet view, select a cell between the two key drawings.
- In the Camera or Drawing view, draw your new pose.
- In the Timeline or Xsheet view, select a new cell and repeat the previous steps for each new drawing.
- In the Timeline view, use the Enable/Disable All and Solo buttons to turn off any layers you don't want to see during playback.
- In the Timeline view, move the red playhead to the first frame of your animation and click the Start button on the Timeline toolbar. Then, move the playhead to the last frame of your animation and click the Stop button.
- In the Playback toolbar, click the Loop button to enable looping during playback.
- In the Playback toolbar, click the Play button to being playback.